We all rely and belong to multitudes of complex systems in our day to day lives. As a designer it is in our nature to approach problems within these systems in a more diverse and broad way, therefore creating innovating solutions. To do this our design solutions are to be effective on more than just a component level, they are required to be formed from a group of interacting, interrelated and interdepended components that form a complex and unified solution’ (Pegasus Communications, 2012)
Sian from EOP approached our team with a problem within the waste management system. Focusing our scope to organic waste, as a means to improve this system, we were given the brief to design a successful kitchen caddy liner that numerous demographics could use and construct on their own.
If done successfully these kitchen caddy liners would encourage residences to divide their organic waste from general waste so it does not arrive in landfill, resulting in the release of toxic greenhouse gasses and further pollution into our water ways.
Our group the Green Tea Leaves was able to successfully meet this brief. A large part of our designs success was due to our teams multidisciplinary backgrounds: integrated product Design (IPD), Visual Communication and Fashion and Textiles design.
Various collaborative approaches like these are encouraged in design thinking and problem solving because some issues are simply too complex for an individual to comprehend and resolve completely (Whyte and Bessant 2007). Our group found after complying with our charter that ‘Exercising collaborative skills and playing to one another’s strengths’ successful as it opened up new approaches and perspectives.
Each of us had different assets to contribute to make our design work, enabling our successful impact within the organic waste system:
IPD: Questioned the true origins of the problem within the overall system, conducted research and made sure our findings were compatible through concise recording methods.
Visual communication: Validated the success of our design, the construction methods needed to be easily and concisely communicated to an array of demographics while also remaining aesthetically pleasing.
Fashion and textiles: Tested the products functionality and aesthetics, utilising there connections with various people and making suitable adjustments when necessary.
Before Sian approached us, the Shoalhaven local council unsuccessfully designed their own Kitchen caddie liner and Flyer. This is a good example of why designers are an important assets within the management of organic waste. We firstly rely on professionals within this fields to understand the system, then we as designers are able to utilise our skillsets (like the ones listed above) to make improvements to the efficiency of already existing or implement new ideas, that people within this field do not have the knowledge about currently. (Checkland,P. & Paulter, J. 2006)
Checkland, P. & Poulter, J. 2006, Learning For Action: A Short Definitive Account of Soft Systems Methodology and Its Use For Practitioner,teachers and students, JohnWiley&Sons, Hoboken.
Whyte, J. & Bessant, J. 2007, Making the Most of UK Design Excellence: Equipping UK designers to succeed in the global economy, Innovation Studies Centre, London.
Pegasus Communications, 2012, What is systems thinking?, Systems thinker, viewed 10th May 2017, .